Here at Myakka HQ we have all started to think about our summer holidays. Spending time away with our nearest and dearest can be fun but holidays away can potentially end up being harmful for the environment and local communities. But choosing an ethical holiday is actually really easy and there are lots out there to suit every taste and budget. Here are our top 10 ethical holiday ideas…
1. Glamping in Somerset
There are some lovely campsites all around the UK but we love this one in our native Somerset, just down the road from us. The Shepherds Hut Retreat in Crewkerne has a selection of beautiful shepherds huts set around an idyllic lake. Based on a working farm, the huts are made from local timber, powered by solar panels and are fed with filtered spring water.
2. Guest house in Transylvania
Travel to one of Europe’s most untouched regions and stay on the Count's Estate or in one of the Prince of Wales' properties. Transylvania has an amazing landscape and interesting history. It is the perfect place to go for a break away from our demanding modern lives. Transylvania is great for walking, riding or just a relaxing holiday; there are many individual cottages to choose from and tourism all helps to protect and preserve a unique heritage.
3. Cycling Tour of Croatia
Croatia is a place high on the must-visit list and a cycling tour is the perfect way to see the beautiful landscape and get away from the cruise tourists in Dubrovnik. Cycling is the ultimate carbon-free choice and the small group tours help to minimise the effect on local communities. Local guides with local knowledge are available to assist you to see parts of the country most tourists completely overlook.
4. Caribbean Holiday with a difference
Built around a forest, this hotel isn’t like the normal Caribbean resorts, special care has been taken to preserve the original form of the forest. Designed for guests who can carry out nature-based activities such as walking and hiking, and water activities e.g. snorkelling. There are also two yoga studios and, of course, the beach to keep you active and busy.
5. Family Activity Week in Scotland
If you have a young, active family then an activity holiday in Scotland is perfect. With your own private guide you can enjoy activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, gorge walking and nature walks all in the beautiful Perthshire countryside and in Scotland’s first fair trade town.
6. Train from London to Milan
Getting a train is a great way to travel, not only does it help reduce your carbon footprint (compared to flying) it also means you get to see some amazing scenery. Getting the train from London to Milan is surprisingly easy and doesn’t take as long as you might think. Leaving London, St Pancras at 9am, you can be in Milan shortly after 9pm and that includes time for lunch while in Paris!
7. Eco-Guest House is Goa
We can't help but be a little biased towards India; we love the country, and Goa is one of its most popular holiday destinations. This eco-guest house in Goa is based in a non-touristy village so you can see more of the real Goa. Take a map and walk round the local area ...
8. Himalayan Panoramas in Nepal
Stay in a community-run guest house in a beautiful Nepalese village as privileged guests. Off the beaten track, you will get the see a traditional way of life that most visiting Nepal would not get to see. The views of the Himalayas are breath-taking and the hospitality in your guesthouse will be like nothing you have experienced before.
9. Big Game and Wild Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe
Ever wanted to go on Safari? Well this trip is like no other! You can explore game reserves by foot and canoe part of the Zambezi for a unique view of wildlife. But that is not the best bit - you can also help on an Anti-Poaching Unit and assist with a wild dog conservation team.
10. Walking or Cycling Holiday in Wales
Leave a tiny carbon footprint, walk, and cycle your way around the beautiful Welsh coast and countryside. With either self-guided or guided tours, your luggage will be moved on to your next stop for you so you can focus on looking at the beautiful Welsh coastline.
Wherever you go for your holiday this year do not forget the little things can make all the difference. Packing light can help save fuel and reducing your use of electricity and air-conditioning really does help the environment. Flights are generally the worse thing about our holidays so where you can, try and avoid it (Trains and ferries are a lot more environmentally friendly). If you do fly, make sure you use one of the many carbon off-setting schemes available.